Valas. Under house arrest
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Haredis pray for Valas' release
Photo: Gil Yohanan
The trial of Israel Valas, the yeshiva student accused of killing his 3-month-old son, opened Monday morning at the Jerusalem District Court. Valas arrived at the hearing accompanied by family members and relatives and seemed relaxed.
The first person to testify was Sergeant Major Yuval Kaminitz from the Moriah police station, who recounted his meeting with Valas at the hospital.
"I arrived and saw a father with a baby in critical condition, and he seemed indifferent to me. This aroused my suspicion."
Attorney Feldman, Valas' lawyer, commented: "What kind of psychological training do you have to determine that he seemed indifferent?"
Aviva Levi, a nurse at the Tipat Halav childcare services, said that "when the mother and child visited the clinic, I got the impression that the baby was taken care of and was not neglected."
According to the indictment, 19-year-old Valas harshly abused the baby: He slapped him, pinched him in his face and neck, on a place where he suffered from a birth defect.
"The father committed the acts out of anger over the baby's crying, and as a result of these acts the baby suffered from hemorrhages in his face," the State Prosecutor's office elaborated.
Haredim flock to streets in protest
According to the indictment, about two months ago, while he was home alone with his son, the father abused him again because the baby disturbed his sleep. This time the father did not settle for slaps and bites, but forcefully shook the baby until he dropped him, causing his head to hit the wall.
The baby was evacuated in critical condition to the Hadassah Hospital, where doctors fought for his life, but to no avail.
Valas' arrest caused a stir among the ultra-Orthodox community. Leaflets hung in the streets of Jerusalem caused masses to flock to the streets, burning garbage cans and clashing with the police. The father was eventually put under house arrest.